Well, actually, she sneaked up on me and grabbed me from behind, causing me to practically jump out of my running shoes. But it was what she said once she had my attention that surprised me most.
"I saw you when you were running around the park," she told me. "I tried to get your attention, but you were off in another world. You had this smile on your face, and you actually looked really happy and peaceful."
What?! Considering the pain I'm usually in when going twice around that particular bend, I found it hard to fathom that I looked happy, let alone peaceful. But why would she lie about something like that?
Then it dawned on me: It must be the music. I was so caught up in the rapture of the songs on my iPod that I was in a sort of mental heaven though I felt like hell. There's nothing like good tunes to make both me and my world go 'round when I'm on the run. Here's a sample from my current Bangkok running playlist.
Sheryl Crow "If It Makes You Happy" Listening -- or running -- to this always makes me feel as good as Crow looked in the video.
Lily Allen "Everyone's At It" But not me, not now that I'm Klonopin-free for two and a half months and counting.
Toni Braxton "Lookin' at Me" Very "Single Ladies," but give a now-under-appreciated diva credit for at least getting the groove right.
I Break Horses "Pulse" As heard on Sarah Michelle Gellar's now-defunct CW series Ringer, which deserved a second season, if only because the soundtrack to every episode introduced me to at least one piece of now-essential music.
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind" Between this and those Sex and the City reruns on the Sony Channel, it's only a matter of time before I drag my homesick butt back to New Yooooork, concrete jungle, where dreams are made of...!
Christina Aguilera featuring Nicki Minaj "Woo Hoo" Don't laugh, just listen. Bionic (whose title song has gotten me through many a workout and whose "Elastic Love" is used in the Sony Channel's Nip/Tuck ads) is a lot better than it was ever given credit for being.
La Roux "Reflections Are Protection" The best thing the British duo has done so far and the main reason I'm on the edge of my seat impatiently awaiting its still-unscheduled (as far as I know) return.
Gloria Gaynor "Reach Out I'll Be There" I once did an entire hour-long run with nothing on but this song on repeat.
Lil Wayne "A Milli" Like Busta Rhymes's "Touch It," impossible to listen to just once -- or twice.
Boston "More Than a Feeling" The best outro in the history of rock and as good a reason as I've heard to make it to the finish line.